Time for a recap on the state of Santa Barbara's historically establishment newspaper, its evolving status in the county, the announced demise of local print and the lauded arrival of newspaper 2.0 as the new local news media to replace newspapers.
Some of the words most often used by Santa Barbara bloggers to describe the state of the News Press are "ongoing collapse", "continuing meltdown", News Mess, and etc. The total demise of the paper is repeatedly predicted.
News Press owner Wendy McCaw has stirred up the kind of emotion usually reserved for Darth Vader and so the hyperbole flies in both directions. The News Press editorial page is consistent in it's delusions of persecution and bias as Craig Smith reports. If Wendy McCaw announces that she's Jerry Roberts' mother the analogy will be complete. Read this sample of local opinion from Blogabarbara.
For a nice long read through the whole tangled story try this article on Wikipedia
Don't worry, you've got time. The lawyers will be billing hours on all of the related legal cases for years.
At present the conventional local news journals have actually increased the total amount of local news coverage. The Daily Sound and the Independent, even the Daily Nexus have staffed up at the expense of their rival. Some content is not up to the professional standard of the old News Press, but recognition of professional traditions in their established forms seems to be negotiable on a lot of levels these days and that could be key to the whole trouble at the NP.
The blogs continue to function well in the capacity of local news and opinion forums and edhat continues to develop a diverse audience as an aggregater and manager of online content.
Santa Barbara's Newsroom, an online print type site run by former NP staff and supported by the Teamsters Union, has come and gone.
Now we have the next serious run at online local news and innovation: Noozhawk
New technology often arrives in the form of the thing it replaces. So it's not surprising that Noozhawk not only looks like a newspaper but also like the Santa Barbara Independent online. The Noozhawk staff includes former News Pressers including head man Bill MacFayden, former owner of the now departed South Coast Beacon.
I've noticed that online media is populated by managers from old media. This causes problems. Just ask Allen Wastler of CNBC and formerly CNN who is currently being barbecued by the blogging public for his handling of an online poll. You know the kind I mean, like, "Whose Naughtier? Hillary or Brittany?
Newspaper 2.0 might be coming soon, but we really won't see what it looks like until 2.0 managers include video and audio as well as web design and graphic animation fully integrated on their pages.
Since the entire concept of Newspaper 2.0 is being and has been pioneered in Santa Barbara, to some degree because of the shift in the value of our own conventional media, it will be interesting to see if someone around here will make it a reality that others can see and advance.
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